For those who are hungry and struggling to make ends meet, the Salina Rescue Mission is a place of hope in the Salina community.
“It is important for people to know where their next meal is coming from so that they can focus on what they need to do to work towards securing a job, housing, and being able to move forward in life,” said Chad Young, executive director.
The Rescue Mission’s food service program is open to anyone in the community who is in need of a meal. Free meals are provided three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“We predominantly serve homeless men in our community,” said Chad Young, executive director. “However, it is very common to see women, children and families who are struggling to make ends meet come to the Mission for a hot nutritious meal.”
In 2018, the Rescue Mission served 43,000 meals and over 54,000 in 2019. To accommodate this demand, kitchen staff use commercial grade appliances and equipment. Daily wear and tear started to take its toll, affecting the Mission’s ability to efficiently prepare food to serve those in need. A year ago, the refrigerator compressor went out and needed to be immediately replaced. The 19-year-old food service carts used to transport food donations were beyond repair. Tray slides on the salad bar (which was purchased in used condition) had also reached a point where repairs wouldn’t hold any longer.
For the Mission to continue serving some of the community’s most vulnerable citizens, something had to be done.
With the help of grant funding from the Greater Salina Community Foundation, the Mission was able to purchase a new refrigerator, food service carts and a new salad bar, along with air curtains to keep flies out of the kitchen. Now, the Mission can continue to safely serve healthy, hot meals to those in the community who are food insecure.
Young said the impact of these grant dollars will reach far beyond the walls of the Mission’s kitchen.
“Without the food service equipment, our abilities would be greatly diminished,” said Young. “Many times, we have seen someone come in for a meal and receive so much more. Hope is restored, a sense of relief that they can push onward.”